If You Were My Baby was inspired by at least three generations of women. Fran Hodgkins' mother taught her to love nature, and how to watch and "really see." An early memory of Fran is watching for hours as a spider built a web on her tire swing. Now as a mother, Fran passed her love of wild things on to her daughter Rosie "without even really thinking about it." From their backyard in Lynn, Massachusetts, to the beach, to the forest, they watch—and Rosie inspired this book through her questions about nature and animals.